Funny Girl – A review

Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of the theatre and shows of the musical variety. It stems from a  musical childhood, years of singing lessons and performing on the stage at school. A time where I didn’t believe – I knew – I was going to play Eponine in Les Miserables when I grew up.

So when I heard the award-winning West End production of Funny Girl was coming to Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre with its star Sheridan Smith I had to get tickets.

The musical tells the tale of singer and comedian Fanny Brice and her rise to fame from Brooklyn to Broadway with Sheridan in the starring role.

Apart from being introduced to Funny Girl through Rachel’s love of it in the TV show Glee, I knew very little of the show, its plot or score.

But Funny Girl had me hooked from the opening number. Sheridan fizzed with wit, energy and sparkle as she stepped on stage, setting the comic tone with her offbeat dancing.    

She soon showed she was much more than a slapstick comedian though with her confident and skilled vocals. And she brought a real depth to the role, meaning you were laughing along one minute then feeling her vulnerability the next.

Although Smith was the standout star, this wasn’t a one-woman show. She was supported by a talented cast of singers, dancers and comics who held their own. The score was melodic, filled with catchy and memorable numbers.

The set was simple, but effective. The vanity table with its trail of lights where Fanny finds herself reflecting and preparing to step into her stage self; the theatre backdrop to which the actors at times perform; the poker table at which her mother and friends gossip and tussle over games of cards.

And the costumes added to the storytelling. We see Fanny transformed from a comic figure in oversized bloomers in scene one to a woman with tailored, shimmering dresses as her star ascends. 

But as her career flies, her husband’s wheeler-dealing leaves him out of pocket. We see their marriage crumble slowly as he relies on Fanny’s money and can’t bear to do so.

As he walks away, and a heartbroken Fanny summoned the energy to perform for her crowd, I was done. I started to tear up. 

And as Sheridan owned the closing bars of Rain on my Parade, I got to my feet like the rest of the audience. A well-deserved standing ovation for a show – and star – that shone.


Funny Girl finished its run at the Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday 8 July. 

Details of forthcoming tour dates and venues are here.

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Out of order – a review

What happens when a MP and his intended lover find a dead body in his hotel room? 

That’s the premise of Ray Cooney’s Out of Order, an Olivier award-winning comedy currently on stage at Cardiff’s New Theatre

It features well-known actors including EastEnders and Extras actor Shaun Williamson and Footballers’ Wives actress Susie Amy.

A brilliantly funny farce, Out of Order sees MP Richard Willey and his faithful parliamentary private secretary George Pigden’s evenings go from bad to worse as they try to conceal a dead body in Willey’s bedroom at the Westminster Hotel. 

Each lie leads to an increasingly entertaining web of deceit that comes perilously close to unravelling. The cast worked well together, using impeccable comic timing and delivery to keep the audience laughing.

I particularly enjoyed the political jokes, which were so current referring to Brexit, Corbyn, May and the forthcoming General Election.

The use of props was superb. Without giving too much away, the sliding window and bedroom cupboard are like cast members creating some of the funniest moments of the show. It was great to see the technical team in charge of the window on stage at the end as it became a key part of the show.

Excellently performed with a perfectly witty script, Out of Order is a brilliant night out. I left with aching cheeks from laughing so much, testament indeed to how funny I found the show to be.

Out of Order is at the New Theatre until Saturday 20 May. Tickets start at £11.

We paid for our tickets to see Out of Order and the venue was unaware we would be writing a review.